Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2nd edition of Daas Torah available now for $35

The 2nd expanded edition is 822 page - English only. Approximately 200 new pages were added. There are additional chapters concerning the Satmar Rebbe's views on the 6 Day War, rabbinic authority, Daas Torah as well as Science and disagreeing with authorities. A portion of this new material has been posted on this blog, Most of the material from the first edition has been retained but has been reorganized. This edition is available only in paperback.

View first 52 pages including Table of Contents

My Amazon e Store - Purchase by clicking this link  - greater royalty for me from this option

or order directly from Amazon - with option of free shipping  

 volume II containing 460 pages of Hebrew sources just published - click link for more information
Many who have a good Jewish education in yeshiva or seminary regarding Jewish law and observance – often lack a deep and mature knowledge of Jewish Theology. Furthermore as a psychotherapist working in the Orthodox world – I often see clients whose problems are more issues of misunderstanding of Judaism rather than psychological issues per se. Knowledge of Jewish Theology is often restricted to a few platitudes such as “ You should love your fellow man” or “G-d runs the world” or mistaken ideas such as that Judaism doesn’t require any specific beliefs but only deeds. These concerns obviously apply even more to someone without a good Jewish education. In addition, teachers often expend hours looking for relevant material to explain a particular concept and students often need additional sources to get a clarify of subtle points.
This is a rich source book for those who would like to delve into the rich and nuanced discussions of classical Jewish theology. It is the work of over 10 years of compilation, translation and organizing. This work removes a number of hurdles 1) The original Hebrew has been translated into contemporary English 2) A wide variety of sources are quoted to avoid presented a biased and distorted view of a particular topic 3) There is no attempt to prove or force a particular view and thus contradictory views are presented 4) There is no censoring of material which might not be politically correct to current understandings but was acceptable for thousands of years.
As Rav Eliashiv told me, “You don’t avoid teaching Torah because it might cause confusion or questions. That is why a person has a teacher or rebbe.” As Rav Moshe Shapiro advised, “Let the sources speak for themselves.”


  1. Just wondering -- what kinds of theological problems do you encounter in your psychotherapy practice? Does informing them about theology seem to help their problems? Maybe one day you will write a book about this as well -- how increasing theological knowledge can help Orthodox Jews with their inner struggles?

  2. two brief examples

    1) a girl who had been abused when she was 10 years old by some frum boys became suicidal, depressed and was hospitalized. After years of therapy she recovers - but has one problem she can't deal with - she can't accept a G-d who wanted her to be raped. All the rabbis she saw told her that is the way it is. I explained that the view of the rishonim is that man can do things to others which G-d doesn't want but allows for the sake of free-will
    That she could live with.
    2) a young lady was upset about her anger at her verbally abusive and immature father. She wanted psychological help dealing with it. I explained that the greatest kovod was to act like he was a kid and she was the adult. If she gave him a hug and kiss during a tantrum he calmed down. She thought kibud av meant that she simply had to accept all that he did.

  3. Rav Shapiro says let the sources speak for themselves! Really!!
    Rav Nosson Slifkin will be glad to hear that.

  4. Reb Daniel,

    Mazel tov on the new edition!

    Is there any way for someone who already owns the first edition (and can't afford to pay $35 just for 200 new pages) to just get the new material?

    It's a pet peeve of mine, when new editions of seforim come out with new material, instead of a second volume. My seforim budget is very restricted as it is. I can't afford to buy seforim I already own just because the author added a few new chapters!

  5. 1- I share LazerA's dismay.

    2- I also think that if you kept it to an addendum volume, you wouldn't need to use the all-important original Hebrew. Do you know how many times I encounter someone (often myself) whose understanding of a source has more to do with the philosophical assumptions he brings to the text than the text itself.

    Especially today, with the rampant growth of a movement that believes that they posess the one truth, and delete all historical data to the contrary. Its students are forced to do things like argue that the Rambam or Ramban didn't really deny the universal scope of Individual Divine Providence (hashgachah peratis). Because if we believe it, "of course" they did.

  6. Is it for sale in Israel?

  7. no it is not for sale in Israel presently

  8. The idea of simply making a volume of the additional material would make sense - if I hadn't made significant changes to the organization of the material.

    The same problem arises with the Yad Moshe. It is not just additional material but it needs to be integrated. I had published the Yad Moshe to the 8th volume separately - the overwhelming response was to wait until it was integrated.

    So improvements have the downside of being somewhat wasteful. Don't know any way around this - sorry.

  9. Rabbi Slifkin is well aware of what Rav Shapiro said.

  10. How's the spelling in this new edition? (the first one was great, but yuo knwo...)

  11. shaul shapira said...

    How's the spelling in this new edition? (the first one was great, but yuo knwo...)
    Entire book was checked several times with Microsoft Word 2010 spell and grammar checker. It is an improvement over the first edition.

  12. Mazal Tov,

    Going to get my copy's asap!

    a Gut Yom Tov!


  13. Thank you for bringing out a second edition. I have ordered a copy. In your description of the book on Amazon, you may want to change "Orthodox word" to "Orthodox world". Just saying.

    Tizkeh lemitzvos.

  14. Where can I order a complete Daas Torah?

    1. from Amazon. If you are in Jerusalem - it is available in stores such as Shanky's, Manny's or Moriah- Shanky's is my distributor. It is in America stores. if an American store doesn't have it he can order from my distributor Yaakov Levitz

  15. could you comment on the how the re-organisation was done and also when will it be in hard cover

    1. I combined a number of topics that were repetitious that were deleted and I added a number - especially dealing with rabbinic authority that were repeated asked for. A number of chapter heading and subheadings were changed for clarity. Abut 200 pages of material was added.

      there are no plans at present for making a hard cover version

  16. I already have the first edition. is it possible to purchase the second edition just as a pdf ?

  17. When scrolling through the first pages you put online, I was somewhat surprised by your translation of the Chazon Ish's work "kitzoniyus" as "perfectionism." Isn't the word used in modern Hebrew to mean "extremism"?


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